Leipzig vs Schalke by Gustav
It could be said that three weeks break came in the right moment for Leipzig, as the side suffered 2:3 home defeat against Hertha Berlin in most recent game, defeat that was their fourth game without a victory in Bundesliga, fifth game without a victory combined with Champions League game.
Their guests entered the game better, took the lead in fifth minute via Selke, staying with a man less already in next moments - however, remaining very threatening in attack via counter attacks, doubling up the lead via Kalou in 31st minute.
They even scored third in 51st again via Selke, while the hosts only managed to reduce the deficit via Orban and Halstenberg even though they have created much more and had much more of the ball possession. The side is now at fifth position with just two points less than second placed Schalke and surely aiming a victory here.
During the break, they had a friendly game against Dukla Prague which they won with a 2:0 result thanks to goals from Palacios-Martinez and Bruma one in each halftime.
Home team should be playing in 4-4-2 formation with Werner and Poulsen as forwards. Forward Timo Werner had some problems in previous days and maybe won't be playing for full ninety minutes here. Offensive midfielder Emil Forsberg (12/1) and left back Marcel Halstenberg (15/2) both remain sidelined with injuries.
Schalke, on the other side, after not so bright start in the season, managed to make a streak of fourteen matches without a victory in all competitions - still with many draws as well - but the side managed to climb up all the way to second position at the table.
In the most recent Bundesliga game, they had a 2:2 draw away to Eintracht Frankfurt, being well better overall but paid the price of lack of concentration as the hosts took the lead in first minute via Jovic, as they also doubled up the lead in 65th minute via Haller.
Schalke looked little better during the whole game, but only manage to capitalize it in last fifteen minutes of the match with goals from Embolo and Naldo, as they scored the equalizer in fifth minute of additional time.
During the break, they had a friendly game against Genk and managed to get a 2:1 victory testing a lot of things in that game.
Guests are set to continue in 3-4-1-2 formation with Santo and Burgstaller as forwards, but also with offensive help from Harit behind them. Central defender Pablo Insua is injured, while doubtful with some chances to be fit on time remains midfielder Leon Goretzka (11/4).
- Leipzig have scored at least 2 goals in 8 of their last 9 home matches (Bundesliga).
- Schalke have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches (Bundesliga).
I can't see anything but an attacking game and performance from both sides here. Leipzig will be seeking a victory, but should also seek for a continuation of their good recent results.
Champions League exit battle should offer us some interesting phases of the game where three goals should be scored easier than what the odds suggest, especially having in mind lack of stability in each sides' defensive lineups.